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The thing is would atheism even make sense in a world where the gods actively affect the world and possibly physically manifest themselves?

Sure you can.

 

The whole "God" thing could be some trick by an egomaniac who has a tad too much power going on, for one.

 

Or someone could deny Gods in the same sense that we have people that deny the moon landing, or that the world is round.

 

Or you could have both.

 

Or some third thing.

 

Yeah and people who deny the moon landing and say the world isn't round are also idiots and or downright insane. I don't think anyone wants to have a main character who is basically a moron. Maybe if they want to put in a joke NPC it could work.

 

Really? Then why the calls for having the idiot/low intelligence dialogue? (and I would be quite happy to play an insane character too) As for the world being round and moon landing... Have you been on the moon or in space to see that the earth is round? I'm guessing you've only seen pictures or video footage, so you haven't actually experienced these things yourself. I'm not into conspiracy theories and denying these things myself, but I can certainly see why someone might deny them because they haven't seen or experienced proof of these things enough to satisfy them. And that doesn't mean they are idiots or insane.

 

It works the same way here. I imagine in the setting very few people have actually experienced direct contact with a god. So most of the 'proof' of gods would be what you've heard this other person saw/experienced (you wouldn't even have photographs or videos to show you proof as we have these days). To me that leaves plenty of room for someone to doubt the existence of gods unless they have one walk up to them directly. And even in that case as mentioned the character may not think that they are gods, that they're some lesser (than a god) but powerful being masquerading under the appearance of being a god.

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Eh, rather than being a Nihilist you could also be a hedonist or an Epicurean or something.

 

Epicurus gets lots of cred these days from atheists, but he believed in Gods himself.

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In the TSR D&D Forgotten Realms novels before the Black Isle D&D games, several gods are killed in the Times of Trouble (Avatar Trilogy back in the day.) Some by gods, some by men. Gods can die in D&D. Others can rise up to be gods.

Nowhere near the same thing. In the "Time of Troubles" the Gods were forced into their Avatar forms. Avatars are just really freakin powerful mortal bodies, they do not have their full power in those forms. Also as a special rule in that time period when the gods died in their Avatar forms they were not allowed to return to their true realms, they were forced into true mortal death. That is why so many of them died, they were forced into mortal shells. This was done by the High God Ao also, not some silly mortal plot.

 

Fighting the Lady of Pain in Sigil would have been the equivalent of going to the top of Yggdrasil the World Tree and calling out Odin. You were fighting a Greater God (aka one of the most powerful beings in the D&D universe) and you were doing it in their own territory/plane of existence. By D&D rules that makes the Lady of Pain when inside Sigil literally omnipotent in so far as the cities boundaries. She could know all, see all, and do all and kill you with absolutely no effort. Not even a finger twitch would have been needed.

 

Not quite the same thing as killing an Avatar stuck on their own in the middle of nowhere with no one to back them up or any resources to call on. Avatars died all the time in the D&D worlds in fact, it is just normally the God would just lose a small part of their power and that would be that. The Time of Troubles was a VERY special circumstance, hence it's name.

 

Other gods died in D&D FR outside the Times of Trouble as well.

 

and there are two general rules in D&D, regardless of edition -

 

1 - if it has stats, and hit points, you can kill it

2 - whatever the DM allows you to do, you can do

 

If you haven't looked at them in awhile, or never have, read a DMG and a Deities and Demigods or Manual of the Planes and see that there are rules for players to kill gods. Permanently.

 

EDIT - or just go read here for a list of dead FR deities and realize that most of that list did not die in the Times of Trouble - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Forgotten_Realms_deities#Dead_deities

Edited by Merin

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People seem to misunderstand a bit. Challenging a god is an ideal condition, basiaclly, if Obsidian have time for this. For a more realistic "goal" - is to simply say "I don't care about gods".

Overall, a good chance, given the promo line - "If gods doesn't listen, then it is up to us"


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This is the attitude I'd like to roleplay:

 

Any really existing god is indistinguishable from a wizard with world-shattering powers.

 

Beings can have more or less power. That power may be inherent to them or not. However, nothing ever "is" a god because godhood is not an intrinsic attribute but one conferred by worshipers. There can never be an intrinsic moral authority of any being over another. If a being acquires the power to judge me based on its morals without my consent, I may be powerless to change that but I certainly don't have any obligation to accede.

 

Powers may exist but it's we who make them gods. I choose not to help in making them gods. Because for all I know, they may be nothing more than wizards with world-shattering powers, and while they may deserve my respect, or my fear, I see no reason to worship them.

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For me, the conflict of Kaelyn in Mask of the Betrayer was by far one the most thrilling, touching and thought-provoking plots in my gaming history. It was this story that brought MoB almost on par with Planescape Torment.

 

So as deities and their power are a given fact, I would love to see some A) NPC, B) faction or C) part of the main plot dealing with a conflict between the power of the gods and the freedom of individual destiny.

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I agree with idea that powers/deities aren't gods, and I liked the Athar in the Planescape Setting.

 

Thus, as far as all priests aren't gods fanatics, all non-believers aren't anticlerical. It would be interesting that all of these ideologic schemes (Fanatic, believer, deist, agnostic, atheist, anticlerical) could exist in a fantasy setting (and of course with tensions).

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If the gods are blatantly real in PE (I would prefer they are not, but if), then I would very much like the option to not deem them worthy of worship. I love playing characters who dare defy the gods themselves.

 

(MotB spoiler)

In this regard I was thoroughly disappointed that we could not tear down the Wall of the Faithless, although I do understand that was due to IP restrictions, which gives me hope for similar situations in PE.

 

 

However, if the gods are real, they should also live up to their status and be way out of league, at least for low-level characters.

 

My ideal view of how PE should handle this is as follows:

- In the first game, the presence of the gods should not be felt too much. They should consider our character a petty insect unworthy of their time and thereby remain in the background.

- In later installments, as our character gains power, the gods start paying closer attention. Interventions, both in the player's advantage and disadvantage, start occurring as the player becomes a useful pawn in the game of the gods.

- At the epic endgame, we are able to challenge and perhaps even destroy gods.

 

Destroying a god, however, should have dire consequences to the world (kill the god of light? there goes the sun!). Or better yet: have no consequences at all and lead us to realize that the gods are not at all what they make themselves out to be.

Edited by Pope

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As an atheist myself I still get a WTF feeling about atheism in a fantasy world where gods are real. It would be like not believing in rain. Or trees. "I refuse to aclknowledge the existence of that cliff! Watch as I walk straight over it!"

 

Wanting to be some sort of nihilistic god-slayer heralding the end of days OTOH sounds quite cool.


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I agree with idea that powers/deities aren't gods, and I liked the Athar in the Planescape Setting.

 

Thus, as far as all priests aren't gods fanatics, all non-believers aren't anticlerical. It would be interesting that all of these ideologic schemes (Fanatic, believer, deist, agnostic, atheist, anticlerical) could exist in a fantasy setting (and of course with tensions).

Yeah, I think this would nicely fit the reputation system. Rune Quest achieved it in a quite interesting way but there can be other ways to do this.

 

For example, soul power's source is unknown and it's a black-box to the people in the PE world. While wizards can use their own methodologies/rituals to make use of the power, priests/druids/paladins seem to be able to have access to the power through their beliefs. From our modern point of view, priests/druids/paladins may be dealing with the power through their subconsciousness. Someone with extraordinary soul power may declare that he/she has the revelation from a god (and he/she can "prove it" through soul powers). He/she can be called a prophet and may even have political importance. Likewise, traditional/established religions can belong to collective unconsciousness, which may have originated from distant memories of past prophets/shamans.

 

What prevents me from wondering the possibility of such implementation as above is the fact that the designers mentioned there were gods scheming. Still it is unclear if "gods" have physical bodies in the PE world: They may just have access to the world indirectly, through the soul powers and possible motivations of their own. Or, they may even have physical bodies in the PE world but non-believers simply consider them as a certain race(s). As someone said, whether a certain existences are considered as deities or not relies on subjective viewpoints.

 

I hope there will be no objective evidence on the existence of gods. So, I'd like the designers to take "subconsciousness" implementation (Even in this case, I think the designers shouldn't define it clearly, leaving it to the imagination of the players). However, gods as somehow mysterious existences with their own motivations which can be accessible only through soul powers can be the second best option to me. Of course, if the designers have much better idea, I'd be interested in listening, though. However the settings around the deities are implemented, the objective is to make a big room for various viewpoints and possible conflicts at both physical and metaphysical levels.

Edited by Wombat

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The thing is that deities are powerfull and exist in a fantasy world. But do they deserve to be worshiped ?

 

In a fantasy world, does a peasant have to worship a DnD lvl 40 wizard or a golden dragon? The matter is not to deny every deity or every powerfull entity (in physical/metaphysical matters), but how everyone can consider these entities: as gods, as ennemies, as allies, as some parts of the universe, or as everything else.

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For example, soul power's source is unknown and it's a black-box to the people in the PE world. While wizards can use their own methodologies/rituals to make use of the power, priests/druids/paladins seem to be able to have access to the power through their beliefs. From our modern point of view, priests/druids/paladins may be dealing with the power through their subconsciousness. Someone with extraordinary soul power may declare that he/she has the revelation from a god (and he/she can "prove it" through soul powers). He/she can be called a prophet and may even have political importance. Likewise, traditional/established religions can belong to collective unconsciousness, which may have originated from distant memories of past prophets/shamans.

 

Yes, and a wizard who tricks everyone (maybe in a small town without any mighty priest), telling everyone that he is an "avatar", could be a "false prophet". It would be interesting too, I think.

 

I hope there will be no objective evidence on the existence of gods. So, I'd like the designers to take "subconsciousness" implementation (Even in this case, I think the designers shouldn't define it clearly, leaving it to the imagination of the players). However, gods as somehow mysterious existences with their own motivations which can be accessible only through soul powers can be the second best option to me. Of course, if the designers have much better idea, I'd be interested in listening, though. However the settings around the deities are implemented, the objective is to make a big room for various viewpoints and possible conflicts at both physical and metaphysical levels.

 

I hope too there will be no objective evidence, I think that the major part is in the universe background. In some DnD cRPGs (it reminds me NWN, but there could be other games too, I'll have to play again), during the character creation, you can specify the deity you worship. (I thought it could be fun to write "Nothing", and to say after many hours of playing: "Beware the holy mighy priest of Nothing!" !!!).

 

Seriously, background could be a bit evasive about deities, mention them as a cultural influence for many people.

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If you haven't looked at them in awhile, or never have, read a DMG and a Deities and Demigods or Manual of the Planes and see that there are rules for players to kill gods. Permanently.

I literally own every book ever written for the planescape campaign setting. I am fully well aware gods can die in D&D. However when it happened in an actual D&D "game" it was always DM driven and based around a larger story that normally meant other gods "helped" the PC's quite a bit. As in the PC's were just glorified gophers doing the Gods work for them whether they knew it or not and any other group of stooges probably could have pulled it off just as well. That said John Smith the average DM can do whatever he wants, but if you expected an actual TSR/WoTC employee/sanctioned DM running an official campaign adventure to let you kill a god you were going to be disappointed.

 

Even when it did happen it was never because "random group of strong mortals wanders into Gods own plane of existence and in a non planned encounter beats them mano a mano." That doesn't happen outside of VERY poorly run games that have nothing to do with official anything.

 

Also did you notice but your link is Forgotten Realm Deities only? That is just one campaign world out of dozens, hardly a complete list of anything. Either way the conversation is off topic enough as it is so if you want to get in the last word go ahead. I don't want to derail further and will simply close saying that the idea of the "PC and Company vs God or Gods" is a bad one and there are a lot of other stories to tell that don't involve over the top power trips.

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Yes, and a wizard who tricks everyone (maybe in a small town without any mighty priest), telling everyone that he is an "avatar", could be a "false prophet". It would be interesting too, I think.

 

I've been wondering along those lines since I read about the "Godhammer" bomb in an update.

You had Saint Waiden running around saying the god Eothas spoke to him and leading a theocratic revolution, but ever since Waiden was blown to bits Eothas no longer "speaks to his faithful"?

 

Did the god get blown up with his avatar? Was Waiden a total fraud on a power trip? Or is it something weird with souls? Who knows?

 

I much prefer the guessing of not really knowing or maybe a series quests to actually sneak a peek behind the curtain, as opposed to opening the "Big Book of Deities" and finding out everything about them (from their existence to what they had for dinner).

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Just when I think I'm out, the thread pulls me back in again. :)

 

and there are two general rules in D&D, regardless of edition -

 

1 - if it has stats, and hit points, you can kill it

2 - whatever the DM allows you to do, you can do

 

TSR specifically does not give the Lady of Pain stats in the Planescape Campaign setting (or in later materials) to address the first point; they also specifically point out to DMs that the Lady of Pain should be treated as unchallengeable to address the second point and players doing so should be killed.

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Destroying a god, however, should have dire consequences to the world (kill the god of light? there goes the sun!). Or better yet: have no consequences at all and lead us to realize that the gods are not at all what they make themselves out to be.

 

Why would killing the god of light have dire consequences? He's just an egotistical jerk living off the prayers of primitive sun worshipers and and manipulating them into doing stupid things from a different plane of existence; he is entirely separate from whatever star the planet is orbiting. Any powers the god of light may have before he dies would be seized by some other member of the pantheon assuming the deity didn't have enough worshipers to resurrect him/her/itself.

 

At least, in the typical fantasy cliché that D&D and pulp fantasy authors use.

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Destroying a god, however, should have dire consequences to the world (kill the god of light? there goes the sun!). Or better yet: have no consequences at all and lead us to realize that the gods are not at all what they make themselves out to be.

 

Why would killing the god of light have dire consequences? He's just an egotistical jerk living off the prayers of primitive sun worshipers and and manipulating them into doing stupid things from a different plane of existence; he is entirely separate from whatever star the planet is orbiting. Any powers the god of light may have before he dies would be seized by some other member of the pantheon assuming the deity didn't have enough worshipers to resurrect him/her/itself.

 

At least, in the typical fantasy cliché that D&D and pulp fantasy authors use.

Well that would certainly depend on how Obsidian defines their gods and their relation to the world and the forces of nature, wouldn't it?

 

I'd personally love for these gods to turn out to be nothing more than (high powered) master manipulators that played no actual part in creation or the natural forces. Hence the bolded sentence in my previous post. This could eventually lead the player to the option of either revealing this god-hoax to the world, or actually taking part in it and becoming a "god" himself.

Edited by Pope

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Just when I think I'm out, the thread pulls me back in again. :)

 

and there are two general rules in D&D, regardless of edition -

 

1 - if it has stats, and hit points, you can kill it

2 - whatever the DM allows you to do, you can do

 

TSR specifically does not give the Lady of Pain stats in the Planescape Campaign setting (or in later materials) to address the first point; they also specifically point out to DMs that the Lady of Pain should be treated as unchallengeable to address the second point and players doing so should be killed.

 

That does solve that for the setting, yep. I've never read Planescape stuff so I didn't know that.

 

And yet...

 

doesn't that just confirm my defending Cultist's point that BIS couldn't allow the PC to kill LoP due to, you know, fiat by TSR/WotC?

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Also did you notice but your link is Forgotten Realm Deities only? That is just one campaign world out of dozens, hardly a complete list of anything.

 

I did. Because my previous example had be the Avatar Trilogy (Times of Trouble), and your response had been that that had been a special one-off that should be used as an example because the gods were forced into avatars and Lord Ao specifically did not allow them to retreat to their home planes to heal. So I stuck on that point and showed that many FR gods had died. I specifically looked for a list of FR deities, so of course I absolutely noticed that.

 

But thanks for pointing out the obvious. And for moving the goal posts.

Edited by Merin

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Man you guys sound like you want this game to be nothing but theology and theological concepts.

 

The thing is that deities are powerfull and exist in a fantasy world. But do they deserve to be worshiped ?

 

I guess it depends. If worshipping them gives you the power to raise the dead and heal the sick then I cannot see how you would not think so. What could possibly be more deserving than that?

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I'd personally love for these gods to turn out to be nothing more than (high powered) master manipulators that played no actual part in creation or the natural forces. Hence the bolded sentence in my previous post. This could eventually lead the player to the option of either revealing this god-hoax to the world, or actually taking part in it and becoming a "god" himself.

 

I guess I do not get the distinction. Not even the Greek Gods created the world right? The Titans did that. So what is the difference between powerful beings who manipulate mortals or Gods? Like...we find out dogs are merely animals who bark and have fleas.

Edited by Brannart

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Just when I think I'm out, the thread pulls me back in again. :)

 

and there are two general rules in D&D, regardless of edition -

 

1 - if it has stats, and hit points, you can kill it

2 - whatever the DM allows you to do, you can do

 

TSR specifically does not give the Lady of Pain stats in the Planescape Campaign setting (or in later materials) to address the first point; they also specifically point out to DMs that the Lady of Pain should be treated as unchallengeable to address the second point and players doing so should be killed.

 

That does solve that for the setting, yep. I've never read Planescape stuff so I didn't know that.

 

And yet...

 

doesn't that just confirm my defending Cultist's point that BIS couldn't allow the PC to kill LoP due to, you know, fiat by TSR/WotC?

 

Well I never disputed that argument (that BIS would need WotC permission to alter the Planescape setting / kill LoP), just that it didn't (to my mind) relate to talking about PE or my suggestion (since my argument was doing something similar to another game, not why that other game did it that way) or at the very least was a side point.

 

Man you guys sound like you want this game to be nothing but theology and theological concepts.

 

Nothing but theology and theological concepts...AND THE ABILITY TO PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE!!!!!111111one*

 

:woot:

 

 

*and possibly die when doing so. How sad. :(

Edited by Amentep

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I don't usually play cleric characters, so most of this discussion passed me by. I read up today.

what can I say. If I play a cleric maybe there is this cult that follows a sikh-like philosophy that all religions contain wisdom and truth, and that no-one holds the ultimate wisdom to determine who is right. therefore they respect all religions and have to defend against injustice and religious intolerance.

That would make for an interesting and challenging character to play. I might even go cleric if they try something like that.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Right but the Sikh's are responding to the conflict between Hindus and Muslims. That sort of conflict, where each religion has the ultimate secret of the creation and the others are wrong, is usually not present in the paganistic religions we usually get in games. Excuse me for going all Forgotten Realmsy but the Priest of Ilmatar does not doubt the Priest of Bane is absolutely correct, there is indeed a God named Bane who wants to make the strong tyrranize the weak, he just would rather Bane and his followers not have absolute power over all living things.

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I think atheism in fantasy worlds just has a different definition than in the real world. It's not really a matter of them not believing in gods, it's more of a matter of them not believing that the gods are all powerful.

Edited by Giantevilhead

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